UFC 229 is now available on Amazon Prime.
On Oct. 6, the Ultimate Fighting Championshipwill host what may be its biggest-ever fight, between UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and former champion Conor McGregor.
The tension between the pair is palpable. It escalated after Nurmagomedov physically confronted McGregor’s teammate and friend Artem Lobov in the hotel lobby in the lead-up to UFC 223 in April, which prompted the infamous retaliation by the Irishman when he attacked the bus the lightweight champion was on days later.
McGregor seemed worked up at last week’s UFC 229 press conference, the first time the pair came face-to-face.
According to coach Owen Roddy, however, McGregor doesn’t harbor any ill will towards his opponent and after the fight regardless of the outcome will shake his hand and show him the respect he deserves.
“I think maybe the situation just got out of hand or something like that,” Roddy said in an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. “What happened happened. But I think when Conor fights anyone, he goes in there with the intention, like, he doesn’t look at it as (personal). He’s going in there to put the person away, no matter what. So that’s not only with Khabib, that’s with everybody.
“He’ll respect him afterwards, and he’ll give them the credit when it’s due after fights, like he’s done with the likes of Poirier,” Roddy added. “He’s talked very high about Poirier, and Diaz, and all of these fighters. And everyone that he’s fought, he’s given them credit. But when you’re in his way, he’s in there to put you away. So he’s like that with everybody.”
Roddy was asked if McGregor’s brand of mental warfare, which has proved the downfall of many of his opponents in the past, will throw Nurmagomedov off his game plan.
“No, not really, to be honest,” Roddy said “But if he does stand, it’ll be over very, very quickly, I believe. But I think Khabib will come in with the game plan he has for everybody, which is: shoot for dear life. And for me, that’s the only chance he really has. And he’ll have to stand. The thing is, you start standing. So he’ll have to stand. And if he’s there for an extended period of time, it’s very, very dangerous for him.”
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